I want to thank Bell Canada for their campaign Lets Talk and also recognize the work of companies such as Canada Post who ave been working on this for years but there is an issue here that we need to move past and act on it and not just talk about it.
Canada is the only G8 country that has no national mental health policy. The only one that has not said that the issues of mental illness,and their effects on our communities, are a top priority. In this Canada, for which we have so much to be proud of and celebrate, we are along way behind our G8 friends.
There have been countless reports, both at the federal and provincial levels, that lay out a variety of solid and thoughtful plans that could have real world impact on the day to day lives of those children and youth, the adults and families, the old and the young, that are affected by mental illness 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year.
We already know that it makes economic sense, the cost at some 50 billion a year, to attack this problem. We already know this makes sense in terms of of our communities; the pressure on police, hospitals, community agencies, the courts, our schools, that are all burdened by the lack of coordination and resources to address the need. We already know that this makes sense for our children, youth, adults, and their families and know that suicide is the leading cause of non accidental death in Ontario.
We already know all this and have known for sometime now and still our representatives have not acted with enough will and assigned enough resources to change this reality.
I know families who have been wrecked by the effects of our lack of actions. I have seen talented and caring professionals become burned out by the ever increasing demand with out the resources to address it. I have personally lived through the revolving door of trying to understand a multi siloed system to get the service my child needs to succeed. Been there as my wife wept in frustration at another road block that didn’t need to be there. Been there as my child at the age of four told me she was the worst little girl in the world.
So while I am deeply grateful to see the tweets and Facebook posts and I stand and applaud Bell and their campaign we have to actually start doing something about it. Until this happens the people who live with these illnesses and the families and organizations that support them will be where we are today. Still talking about it while still living with it while still not having the means to move past it.